Apple Delays Launch of Child Abuse Prevention Measures

Apple recently announced several child safety features for iOS 15.

Most controversial is a scanning tool that automatically checks every photo your iPhone uploads to iCloud for known child sexual abuse material.

These types of tools are commonly used ​​in cloud storage and messaging services, but Apple’s commitment to on-device scanning has caused a lot of controversy.

As a result, Apple announced that delays the release of all its new child safety features.

In a statement sent to 9to5Mac, Apple says “You decided to spend more time in the coming months to gather information and make improvements.” for its new child safety features, specifically the scanner.

He recognizes that «feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers and others » led to this change of plan.

Even so, Apple claims its scanning system “It was designed with user privacy in mind.”

Before the photos are stored on iCloud, the iPhone tries to match them against a database of hashes provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and other child safety organizations.

The corresponding images are then stored in iCloud with a “security ticket”, basically an invisible flag that only Apple can track.

If your iCloud account contains multiple matching images, Apple will review those images manually. Confirmed images of child sexual abuse are then reported to NCMEC.

Apple claims that this system is more secure than cloud-only scanning technologies, as images are only visible to the company if they are tagged before leaving the iPhone.

But privacy advocates worry that Apple’s CSAM scanner will detect false positives, potentially exposing private images to outsiders or paving the way for governments to search for certain material. The technology could also set a bad precedent for the future.

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We still don’t know how Apple intends to “improve” its scanner.Big names like Google already use scanning technology in their messaging and cloud services, and Apple itself checks in iCloud Mail.

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